The common term Renaissance man is used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields. The notion in Renaissance Italy expressed by one of its most accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472): that "a man can do all things if he will" is the theme of our Life and Times series. The notion embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance humanism, which considered humans empowered, limitless in their capacities for development.
Scientific development depends in part on a process of non-incremental or revolutionary change. Some revolutions are large, like those associated with the names of Copernicus, Newton, or Darwin, but most are much smaller, like the discovery of oxygen or the planet Uranus. The usual prelude to changes of this sort is, I believed, the awareness of anomaly, of an occurrence or set of occurrences that does not fit existing ways of ordering phenomena. The changes that result therefore require 'putting on a different kind of thinking-cap', one that renders the anomalous law-like but that, in the process, also transforms the order exhibited by some other phenomena, previously unproblematic.
- Thomas S. Kuhn
The Essential Tension (1977), xvii
Dr. Robert Nash in his own words, "has tended to be drawn to explore anomalies and little understood phenomena." His search for answers and need to venture into unexplored realms has made this HSC Senior Fellow, practicing neurologist and writer an innovator and change agent.
Raised during World War II in a rural community located between the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River, Nash in early grammar school suffered a lisp and dyslexia. Never bothered by this, he went on to overcome both and excelled in academics and a life long pursuit of learning. Growing up in a country united and one that shared common values led him after high school to seek a career in the military.
After graduating from the US Naval Academy, Nash joined the Air Force and received a Masters in electronics engineering. During his ten-year commitment to the military, he specialized in nuclear weapons and electronic intelligence.
Nash saw the futility of war, the death and destruction and made a choice: He decided to enter medical school. When asked why he chose to specialize in neurology he said, "The schematics of the brain and nervous system are similar to the circuits in electronic engineering. It was a transforming moment and one that changed my life. The brain weighs only 1.5-percent of the total body weight but controls literally everything. It is truly the seat of the soul."
Upon completion of his neurology training, Nash set up his private practice of neurology in Virginia Beach, VA. After four years, he had the opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia during which he was asked to become Neurologist to the Royal Family. After returning to Virginia Beach, he restarted his neurology practice with an emphasis on the treatment of chronic pain.
During Nash's training two of his teachers, Dr. Bob Becker and Dr. Ross Adey, introduced Nash to the biological effects of Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF). Adey expanded the EMF study to non-ionizing radiation. Nash went on to find other teachers and study various subtle energies such as acupuncture, meditation, prayer and other modalities not yet understood.
"I explored Bioelectomagnetics, the study of how changes in electromagnetic fields can alter a person's physical and mental condition and this exploration became a primary component of my life and research."
Constantly searching for the unexplained, Nash developed a deep interest in the benefits of Chelation therapy, an intravenous treatment designed to bind heavy metals in the body in order to treat heavy metal toxicity. Proponents claim it also treats coronary artery disease and other illnesses that may be linked to damage from free radicals (reactive molecules). After several years of pursuing scientific investigation to further justify the use and benefits of this treatment, the National Institute of Health (NIH) approved and funded the "Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy" (TACT). Subsequently Dr. Nash was appointed by the NIH to the Data and Safety Management Board of TACT.
"After 10 years, the study has been completed despite multiple efforts to stop it. Unexpected, unanticipated scientific data has shown verified findings that could positively affect patient's health," states Nash. To learn more about the current status of TACT, click here to read an insightful article published by Forbes.
An interesting side issue in this area is the continuing discussion concerning the damages caused by industrial toxins discharged into the environment and being found in human blood. Journalist Anderson Cooper and noted neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta were instrumental in 2007 for creating a CNN program that discussed this in detail. Click here to review this presentation. A quote from it states, "We are the humans in a dangerous and unnatural experiment in the United States, and I think it's unconscionable," said Dr. Leo Trasande, Assistant Director of the Center for Children's Health and the Environment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Trasande continues that industrial toxins could be leading to more childhood disease and disorders. "We are in an epidemic of environmentally mediated disease among American children today," he said. "Rates of asthma, childhood cancers, birth defects and developmental disorders have exponentially increased, and it can't be explained by changes in the human genome. So what has changed? All the chemicals we're being exposed to."
Anyone interested in finding ways to solve many of the medical complaints surrounding this issue hold out hope that Chelation can one day be a way to mitigate the chronic pain and illness associated with exposure. Still a highly contentious topic within the medical profession, Chelation will continue to elicit further research and commentary.
In the period before and during the TACT study, Dr. Nash had met and began working with Dr. Russell M. Jaffe, Senior Fellow and Founder of HSC. The two became trusted colleagues and the concepts of personalized health care and integrative and preventive medicine were often discussed.
Dr. Nash's dedication to the betterment of human health can be clearly seen in his book Common Sense Medicine which, written in 2000, was a prophetic and timely book. It is one which is applicable to today's healthcare debate. Sold through several popular channels, the book has been described in the following manner:
In Common Sense Medicine, Dr. Robert A. Nash refocuses the idea of disease care to health care, and emphasizes the term 'Energy Medicine' as the banner that the medical knowledge of the new millennium will garner. With new medical knowledge comes a new approach, rethinking the causes for disease and the ways in which we now treat them. Dr. Nash's book offers a first hand account of his own experience with alternative treatments, and his broad scope of what is medicine is both reassuring and enlightening.
Throughout the book, in a series of call-outs he refers to as Common Sense Prescriptions, Nash presents beliefs such as:
» Medical care should revere the sacredness of life.
» The body is a miraculous creation capable of self-healing.
» Diagnostic testing has very little or nothing to do with prevention.
» Up to 80% of disease can be prevented.
» We need an alternative to the medications given in hospitals that kill over 100,000 people per year.
» Prayer decreases second heart attacks, the need for artificial ventilation, and the need for pain medication.
Prayer also enhances healing.
He illustrates the thought-processes and actions, both positive and not-so, that medicine through the years has practiced. He outlines how science has advanced the technology of medicine with ever-increasing rapidity, utilizing precision testing, DNA detection and computer generated analysis of symptomatology and chronic disease.
Nash further states that history has demonstrated that physicians with contrary opinion to present practices have been often ridiculed or punished: One specific case the book outlines is that of 19th century physician Ignaz Semmelweiss who was professionally ostracized for his recommendation that physicians practice antiseptic procedures in order to reduce disease transmission. He postulates that in terms of true healing, modern technological medicine does not always deliver the therapeutic answer. Nash goes on to say that many Complementary and Alternative medical practitioners face the type of peer resistance and skepticism that Semmelweis did simply for referring to the ancient holistic approach and practice of helping the patient achieve balance in their physical, emotional and spiritual states.
Amongst much more, the book talks to:
» How Integrative Medicine is an art and science that includes prevention, detoxification, nutrition, and supplementation.
» How chronic back pain and frequent headaches have their roots in sleep disorders.
» How metals are implicated in all aspects of life and that it is possible to get rid of these toxic metals and live a longer, fuller life.
Retiring in July 2010 allowed Nash to travel but upon realizing that he still wished to utilize the knowledge he had acquired, he began part-time work as a neurologist which he continues still. He believes in these days of his semi-retirement that the era of Classical Modern Medicine is rapidly changing. The reasons he states are many, to note a few, the rising cost of health care, genetics and technology. With great hope for the future, Nash sees the medical profession slowly moving toward Preventive and Integrative Medicine, attention to the Human Healing Response, and the assumption by patients to assume responsibility for maximizing their own health. He believes this search for change will occupy the medical/scientific community for decades.
"We are Energetic. Quantum physics is being looked at and as knowledge accrues, the subtle energy hypothesis holds more merit. Exploration into the effects of electro magnetic fields, chelation, prayer, and other subtle energies and their biological value is not well coordinated but is ongoing. This research needs to be funneled into a common repository where it can be accessed by many open-minded professionals who like myself never stop seeking the anomalies that when added up open the door to new discovery," states Dr. Nash.
Dr. Nash was interviewed recently, and the following responses further illustrate his passion and commitment to both the science and art of healing, his concern for the current practices dominating the landscape, and his hope and vision for the future.
Q1. Please expand on the statement that, "Quantum physics is being looked at but the subtle energy hypothesis holds more merit."
Nash: I studied quantum physics in the 1960's. Rupert Sheldrake has expanded my thoughts as has John Bell, an Irish physicist who in the 1960's published Bell's Theorem which basically shows if you can harness a pair of spinning electrons and hold one here and send the other anywhere in the entire universe, then if we reverse the spin on the one we control on earth, then the spin is reversed on the one sent off "instantly" which obviates the speed of light as a factor. I have read many books by quantum physicists explaining the human condition from their perspective. It basically is the underpinnings of my evolving thought as Unity is. In the Linus Pauling Institute in Germany they have shown that crystal petri dishes allow for transmission of bacteria, virus and their treatments from one dish to the next, hinting strongly at energetics are more important than the actual bacteria, virus, medication or antibiotic. This was similarly demonstrated by Jacques Benveniste, a French immunologist who published in 1979 a well-known paper on the structure of platelet-activating factor and its relationship with histamine. He was head of INSERM's Unit 200, directed at immunology, allergy and inflammation. He published a paper in Nature in the late 1990s concerning his documented evidence that homeopathics work on energy and specific frequencies. Once the journal Nature realized what they had published, they withdrew his article as being not scientific. We are in an evolving state of understanding health and it is the integration of the spirit, mind, emotions and physical. We have yet to understand how to integrate the spirit via the soul into the other three. My hypothesis is that the spirit controls all and one cannot be ill or unhealthy if they are truly spiritual. The Saint Padre Pio and other saints of the Catholic Church are examples of unexplained phenomena. Quantum Physics, although not yet the end all, is way ahead of the outdated Newtonian physics that hamstring our research and thinking.
Q2. What factors played a role in you deciding to become a neurologist?
Nash: My father was an MIT graduate engineer (class of 1926) when fewer than 12% of Americans graduated high school. My mother graduated a two-year Normal School for teaching (now the University of Massachusetts at Salem). I had an educated mother and father to influence me without knowing it. I was involved in an automobile accident when I was 13 and had a severe concussion with no memory for four days. I was treated by an orthopedic surgeon who did not see me for the 28 days that I was in the hospital. He saw me in the ER and never again. Prayer may work as medicine has changed markedly since then and not always for the better. After I left the hospital, my dad related his conversations with the doctor. Strangely they grew up in Massachusetts close to one another. My dad wanted to be a doctor and the doctor wanted to go to MIT. My dad was a wise and gentle man and would not have done well in medicine, as the tragedies seen on a daily basis would have destroyed him. I was tempered by going to Annapolis, then the Air Force and seeing the tragedy of Viet Nam first hand. The waste of life, resources and the lies changed me forever. My search for truth and reason has permeated my choices.
Q3. Toxic metals and materials leeched into the environment are a major issue in China and the United States. The use of any technique that can clean the blood of environmental poisons is a critical concern of anyone who is involved in Sustainability. Why has this work had such difficulties?
Nash: The world is not what we were taught by our parents, teachers, religious leaders and politicians. Power, Money and Control influence many. China, and the United States along with many countries in the world are polluted by toxic heavy metals. In 1990, the government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the top 3 pollutants in the US as lead, mercury and arsenic. In 2010, again the top 3 were arsenic, mercury and lead. Chelation Therapy is used to remove toxic heavy metals from the body with benefits to the vascular, brain and immune systems. Government, Industry and the Big Pharm-Medical Community have used all means to maintain the status quo. Basically I believe there is a de facto conspiracy, whether inadvertent or intentional, that doesn't care about the negative effects of toxic heavy metals as the poor or impoverished are mainly effected. This is not entirely true but sometimes makes one wonder about the old impoverished cities, and the brains of those who live there with increased autism, ADD, ADH, crime, drug abuse and no hope for a future. As early as the late 1970's it was discovered that violent inmates at California jails had considerably more heavy metals in their hair than nonviolent inmates. Toxic heavy metals may be behind many of our societal problems, but it would seem that most feel that it is probably better not to address it and use guilt, division, hatred and other means to keep profits intact.
A large challenge to Big-Pharm is to develop a very low cost, water-soluble chelator and begin its use early in life. The resulting improvements in health through out the world and the decreased cost of medicine would be staggering.
Q4. HSC would like to play a larger role in promoting Preventive and Integrative Medicine. What study do you feel could be done to advance your beliefs in this area?
Nash: I agree that HSC should be the lead in developing Preventive and Integrative Medicine, but also Energy Medicine. We need a series of meetings initially to establish a Research Center and Clinic for Preventative and Integrative Medicine. The goal of this clinic would be to use the physiology, biochemistry, and the expanding knowledge of genetics, mitochondrial metabolism and immunology to address the physical, emotional and mind needs. The next challenge would be to form a Research Center and Clinic for Energy Medicine The clinic would address all energies, especially the more subtle ones and find how to integrate them into our conscious health paradigms, leading to thought, prayer and other subtle energies that expand the Human Healing Response in depth. I believe that thought plays a major role in preventing disease and can cure any disease when applied correctly. The exception may be karmic. These are huge ideas but without vision we as a society can never move forward.
Immediate needs are money to get it started. Then selection of an executive team, and then the physical locations, one for each of the above centers. Grant applications to various foundations would begin the process.
Q5. As a neurologist, do you see a change in people taking responsibility for maximizing their health?
Nash: As a neurologist, I see an erosion and possibly an intended demise of Neurology. This is being done economically at the federal level and through lip service but not much funding for research. Neurology may be targeted as computers take over more of the memory of disease categories and neurologists despite their tendency to be anti-social can still think for the most part. I can't speak for the younger neurologists.
I think it is unlikely that the uneducated, poor, digitally deprived will make use of the forthcoming technology. Those educated at college level, familiar and comfortable with the expanded iPhone technology will and must take more responsibility for their health as our current system is in rapid decline and will have to be transformed within a decade. Hence the urgent need for HSC's two centers as above.
Q6. Are you satisfied with the TACT study?
Nash: The TACT study was done scientifically and fairly. The data is good. The government and the medical community through direct and surrogate activities such as the Quack Busters, did everything they could to derail the study. I, with help from from other members of the NIH TACT Data Safety Management Board, particularly Dr. Kerry Lee, were able to keep the study going, not knowing the outcome. To date in my professional life, this is my greatest accomplishment to have a hand in seeing the TACT study completed.
Q7. Can you expand on your exploration into anomalies?
Nash: I believe all unexplained phenomena will have a scientific understanding but science will have to change in the future for this to happen. Science has become secular where in the centuries past, most scientists were scholars in religion, spiritual practices or both. They were curious and allowed to pursue their passions without undue interference. We must change the "Religion" of science and get it back to the basics of "think of what could be", coming up with hypothesis and seeing if we can manifest truth via our experiments. This might seem like heresy now but only through an expansion of our thinking can we hope to change over time. Both of the new centers I envision will need their expertise as only those who are hard science trained (math, physics, quantum, system engineering) and open to all subtle energies will be able to participate in the forthcoming paradigm where technology and gadgetry will reign supreme in the new medical paradigm. Physician extenders, such as Nurse Practitioner, Physician's Assistants, and a new group, yet to evolve, will be the norm. Digital interfaces with patients with more computer training and less medical and traditional medical studies training will take the place of today's physicians. Physicians will become the team leaders of a group of say 10 extenders and will have a territory they are responsible for. It will take a decade or two to accomplish, but without a vision, our system will devolve rapidly leading to total chaos and probable anarchy.
Anomalies began in church. Could Jesus heal? The expansion to UFO probability, Velovkosky, and the many authors who wrote of the pyramids, the Aztecs, Incas, Hopi, physical sites we can't duplicate today, the Dogun tribes, knowledge of Sirius A and B (600 years before it was discovered) and Zacharia Sitchin (whom I met) and his books giving a different view of homo sapiens, makes one curious. For some reason my brain retains useless trivia as above when I read, hear or see it and my brain integrates it over time into some of what I share with you. I have no dreams, no vision, no auditory inputs, only a nagging prescience that I am on the correct path and that I should continue on. It's almost as though I have a singular purpose on earth, but to date it's obscure. Hopefully, I'll become enlightened in time. But anomalies are real to me, I am afraid that I am not bright enough yet to understand them. Hence my leaning toward learning… how to interface with all the subtle energies and through them bring Mind, Emotional and Physical health to all who desire it.
Q8. In a simple statement what was your reason for writing, Common Sense Medicine. I have read the book and the reviews but was there a moment when you said, "I need to do this because..."
Nash: I observed subtle but real changes which I tried to convey with the first and last chapters of the book. I felt most doctors were already compromised as the government controlled their livelihood via medical licensure. It was my attempt to warn the public. My intent was pure as it almost always is, but my ability to get the information out is still a work-in-process. I leave it in Divine hands and try to assist as best I can.
Dr. Jack Lewin Addresses Hawai'i Legislators and Executives, Health Agency Directors, Health Insurance Leaders, Physicians, Governor Appointees in Health Transformation
There are two ways of living: a man may be casual and simply exist, or constructively and deliberately try to do so. The constructive idea implies a constructiveness not only about one's own life, but about that of society, and the future possibilities of mankind.
- Sir Julian Huxley
Much in the spirit of Sir Huxley's words, Dr. Jack Lewin has constructively and deliberately lived his life and in so doing, affected the present and future possibilities of mankind. In this feature dedicated to Dr. Lewin, our editorial group has chosen to share with you the story of a meeting Dr. Russell M. Jaffe, HSC's Founder and Senior Fellow and Dr. Lewin collaborated on that took place in Hawai'i on June 27, 2012.
Due to Dr. Jaffe's strong commitment to Hawai'i, and Dr. Lewin's having held the post in Hawai'i of Director of the Department of Health and Public Hospital Systems, a window of opportunity existed on a planned trip by Dr. Lewin to Hawai'i. Dr. Jaffe approached Jerry Chang, a member of the Hawai'i State House of Representatives who relayed to HSC that Dr. Lewin was well-remembered for his work and strong advocacy for Hawai'i’s Health Care programs. In the tradition of the Islands, when HSC requested that Dr. Lewin be hosted at the State Legislature in Honolulu, the Foundation was granted its request. Hawai'i Pono 'I --the Hawai'i State song and former National Anthem-- speaks of Hawai'i's own, "Hawai'i's Own True Sons" and that was the way Hawai'i's leaders welcomed home Dr. Lewin.
To read the complete article, please click here.
Dr. Carl Franzblau
HSC's Life and Times series focuses on those who have committed their careers to the advancement of Science. Dr. Carl Franzblau, Associate Dean for Graduate Biomedical Science Studies, Boston University School of Medicine will retire in September after 50 years of exemplary service. Dr. Franzblau, a Senior Fellow of HSC, has been involved with the Foundation since its inception.
When the Boston University Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Dr. Franzblau, the announcement stated,
Professor Carl Franzblau's entire career as a teacher has been spent at the Boston University School of Medicine. It has been a great career in medical research and teaching. Dr. Franzblau's first doctoral student, now a professor of biochemistry at a major medical center says, "I credit whatever skills I have to his guidance and to the example he set." And one of his current students says, "He exemplifies excellence not only as a lecturer-teacher, but also as a caring and understanding human being."
To read the complete article, please click here.